Worcester, MA’s, story is not unlike the story of many other American towns. It had a heyday back in the post-WWII era, went through tough economic times in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and has been slowly reinventing itself over the last 10 years. So, when Roseland hired us to develop the brand for 145 Front, a new apartment community in the center of the revitalization of Downtown Worcester, we knew that we had a challenge ahead of us.
As we traveled around the area shopping apartment communities, most of which were outside of the city center, we heard the same sentiments oven and over again: “I’d think twice about living downtown…it’s dangerous.” It was pretty clear that many of the locals did not have the greatest perception of Downtown Worcester. Hearing that type of talk over and over again wasn’t exactly giving us a hopeful feeling about the prospects for this new community…but then we spent some time in Downtown Worcester.
Downtown Worcester definitely doesn’t feel like a place that’s totally recovered yet. There are a lot of boarded-up windows, eerily empty streets, and a somewhat palpable tension amongst groups of people hanging out on corners or on steps. But, among all this, we found some exciting local energy, in the bars and restaurants on Shrewsbury Street, in the coffee shops, sports bars, and nightclubs of the Canal District, and in unique places throughout the city, like WooBerry and The Boynton. And in each of these places were owners and customers that loved Downtown Worcester; people who were committed to rebuilding the community.
It was those people, those stories that became the heart of our brand: Live Local.
A brand that celebrates the people and places that are making Worcester great. And a brand that challenges new residents to join the community and make Downtown Worcester a destination again.